Julia Crockett teaches Movement for the Two Year Conservatory Program at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio.
As an expert in Williamson Technique, she also teaches at NYU Tisch and has her own company – Julia Crockett & Group. In this interview. Julia shares her teaching philosophy, and why movement is crucial for actors to study.
What does it mean to be a teacher at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio?
I think our job as artists is to reflect humanity back to itself and connect with people about big things. Things that feel impossible to talk about or impossible to live through. That connection, in a time where there is so little connection, is our responsibility as artists. And then, to be a teacher – really what I teach is how to connect and how to be in contact with other people beyond what makes us different. My job is to come into contact with our common humanity.
What ignites the joy for your craft?
Seeing people function at their most expansive. Those moments where I see somebody find freedom; it tickles me and brings me absolute joy. Sometimes I’ll be in class, and I’ll just whoop and holler and scream with them. The best moments as a teacher are seeing people move past what they thought to be their limits. In these classes especially, it’s like I’m watching the best live show ever. There’s some days where I think, “I would’ve paid good money for that.” You’re watching people move, improvise, play, and in their own way, dance. I get to watch art happen everyday.
How does your artistic life interact with your personal life?
How does it not? I am my job, and it never feels like work to me. It feels like my identity. I learn every class that I teach. I learn how to be. I learn how to deal with people. I learn how to live moment to moment. I learn how to treat my body. I actually took several years away from acting. I just taught and made my own movement work. When I returned to acting I was a much stronger actor, because I realized I was continuing to grow and train myself as I was training these students. I never feel like I have my job and then I have my life. I also don’t feel like I have my creative practice and then I have my work. My teaching is a part of my creative practice. My life-long creative exploration is teaching.
What advice/wisdom do you want to give to your students?
It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright. As someone who is trying to participate in the entertainment industry as much as I am trying to be a teacher, our biggest challenge is to give ourselves permission. Sometimes the biggest hurdle is to not freak out, to not snowball, to not spiral, but to remember that we have to be people at the end of the day.